Bed-Stuy Brownstone Home Tour (2,500 sq ft) with Jordan and Barry
This week I visited Bedford-Stuyvesant to tour the most beautifully renovated home owned and designed by Jordan and Barry known as the @brownstoneboys . Their home is a historic early 1800s beauty restored to perfection and decorated with mid century modern furnishings. Let's not forget their adorable silver Lab Zuko who enjoys playing in the yard. Unexpectedly, I took a stroll down memory lane as I realized that their block is where my family owns a brownstone and I spent many years playing double dutch and hop scotch on the street. Check out the live home tour on IGTV @tanika_nyclifestyle.
Barry and Jordan's Take on Living in Brooklyn, NYC
1. How long have you both lived in Brooklyn, NY and what inspired you to buy a Brownstone?
Jordan has been in Brooklyn since 2004 and Barry moved to Brooklyn from the UES in 2008. We met on a dating site in 2017 and then quickly bought our brownstone in 2019. A risk we jumped on after only dating for a year. It was both our dreams to own and restore a Brooklyn Brownstone since we first moved to NYC. Jordan used to watch Sesame Street when he was a kid and then Sex and the City (as a teenager), it was just always the dream to live in one. We spent a solid 6-8 months looking for our home and we just knew as soon as we saw this space, there were so many possibilities!
2. What are your full time occupations?
We’re now fortunate to be full-time Brownstone Boys. We are project managers for historic brownstone renovations. Barry’s background is in sales and Jordan’s is in design and marketing. We started this business in January 2020 and we now have 7 full gut renovation projects!
3. Tell us your design story and why you joined Instagram?
Its kind of a funny story because we got into design by mistake. We decided to blog about our entire renovation journey. There were several answers we could not find in our search when we took on our personal project so we decided to start an account and blog about the entire journey; the good, the bad and the real ugly. The community engaged and we learned really fast there was a need for historic renovation help here in Brooklyn.
4. Can you list a few of your favorite places in New York?
We love shopping local and supporting our NYC community as much as we can. Our local ceramic, Franca studio , has quickly turned into a favorite for us to pick up miscellaneous decorations for our home. Clare paint for any paint finishes-they have the most beautiful colors. We also really love the prints from Francis NYC. If you ever want to make a trip out of the city will not let you down! Our shopping cart from Etsy is always full and has something for us to order. And there’s the most amazing salvage yard next to Lowes in Gowanus, Old Iron Works, that carries some incredible architectural salvage! Personally we love biking around Brooklyn, taking a nice long walk on the High-Line, or playing ball with our silver lab, Zuko, in Prospect Park.
5. If there's anywhere else in the world you would live where would that be?
Maybe a houseboat in Amsterdam :)
6. Do you both have any guilty pleasures?
Jordan is addicted to ice cream and Barry loves a good cocktail.
7. Describe some of the pros and cons of living in NYC?
The architecture in NYC is unparalleled to most US cities. You can go to so many different neighborhoods and get a feel for a completely different vibe depending on where you are. The food in NYC is hands down the best. We love that you can get any kind of cuisine. We love trying new things.
Something we love most about the field we work in is learning the cultures in NYC. Working in construction, we meet crews from all over the world. We love being part of their renovation family and learning about the culture through renovating.
The thing we like least? The rats! Yep, it's a serious problem and opening up walls or going in basements that haven’t been touched in over 100 year, we see some things we wish we could block out of our minds forever.
8. Where are you originally from and what do you miss about it?
We’re both from party cities originally. Barry is from New Orleans and Jordan is from Las Vegas. There’s not much we miss about our birth cities (lol) but Barry does miss the local jazz music at home and Jordan misses the crazy people watching in a run-down Las Vegas Hotel. But… fortunately we have our own characters and brilliant musicians in NYC!
9. How would you describe your design aesthetic?
We love anything mid-century modern, and we try to bring that aesthetic to any project we get our hands on. Lately we have been really into a clean Scandinavian design. It’s funny because Barry always gravitates towards a charcoal grey and wood tone theme. Jordan, on the other hand, loves him some color! It kinda works with both design aesthetics.
10. Please give advice/tips to anyone looking to start a gut renovation project?
Be patient! Prepare yourself that it is going to be a roller-coaster of a ride. You will go over budget and there will be hiccups along the way. Remember you’re building your home so take your time and don't rush any decisions. Use more time up front designing the space, gathering materials before the build starts this will allow you more time for the overall design instead of rushing choices when the contractor is in the space.
11. Designing is a passion for many subscribers; can you tell us a few budget friendly places to shop for home decor?
We’re passionate about renovating on a budget. We’re always looking for ways to use solid and durable items and elevating in key places to give it a heightened look. For example our favorite kitchen hack is to use Ikea boxes with semi-handmade or reform fronts. For that extra touch, we usually love upgrading the cabinet hardware!